Futuristic, innovative, tight and unexpected are just a few of the adjectives you could use to describe Center in Exile. With a funky rhythm section- consisting of progressive-laden bass licks and near constant mastery on the skins, the space-rock, progressively fun power trip from Cleveland, Ohio have taken their love of sci-fi, classic rock and completely out of the box themes and crafted their wild debut album, The Center in Exile.
Let’s be honest. If you’re looking for bland, unimaginative, uninspired rock- you need not listen. Center in Exile is a trip and actually, through its thirteen song tracklist, The Center in Exile sits comfortably somewhere between the realm of a sci-fi movie sound track and actually being a sci-fi movie of an album. Center in Exile pull no punches in their attack throughout the album. They are a band that very much know who they are and successfully play to their strengths without compromise, throughout.
The hypnotic chanting and humming of “Return” is mesmerizing. A song in which the band claim to, “address prophecies”, you find yourself chanting along with them not even halfway through. The highlight of “Return” just may be the bass; like a creature from the depths of space, it pops its head in every now and then- and just enough to make its presence known and felt without taking away from the song itself.
“Lake of Fire” is a straight rock and roll burner. Frenzied drumming, a wailing guitar solo and some solid in your face riffs straight out of 70’s rock and roll glory. The kind of groove and face rocking that the Spaceman aka Space Ace aka Ace Frehley, himself would sling on his Les Paul and shred along with. Center in Exile cover a fair amount of musical ground throughout the album. The band’s themes may be out of this world but so are their chops.
Singer/guitarist Bellardco relies less on theatrics with his voice and more on feel. At times, the melodies are as rich and sweet as The Beatles. While others, he takes a more spoken, Pink Floyd approach. Neither is a bad choice and in fact, the use of both these styles help to elevate the other creating a nice dichotomy to the vocals that keep it fresh throughout. In conjunction with his poetically twisted lyrics with a sense of black humor for good measure, the list grows of the reasons why you need to hear this album.
On album opener he sings,” Not getting caught up your own personal Jonestown II. In that case, we ain’t got flowers.”His choice of playful lyrics yet ones that keep in line with the overall theme play off the musical structure so well that if you just listened to isolated vocals, you’d love it. And if you heard an instrumental take, you’d love that also. But again, as Center in Exile repeatedly proves throughout their ambitious, out of left field debut, there is no shortage of stuff to love about this out of this world trio.
Make sure to check out The Center in Exile. Thirteen tales of otherworldly charisma, charm and horror all brought to you by one of the most forward-leaning, truly unique bands working today!